By Johnny Edward:.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has declared that Abuja will host the 19th National Sports Festival if Cross River is unable to, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Cross River State had won the rights to host the festival after the last games held in Lagos in 2012.
And according to a media release from the Minister's special adviser on media, Nneka Anibeze, the main Local Organizing Committee for the festival is demanding from the sports ministry N650m to host the festival.
Dalung is bent on the event holding after it suffered several postponements.
"They have insisted that we provide as much as N650m for them to host the festival. If we had N650m, then why do we have to go to Calabar?" Dalung was quoted as saying.
"We conveyed the National Council for Sports in Calabar and made several inspection tours of facilities to ensure that we hold the event this year but it does appear to us in the ministry that we might be going back to Plan B. Our plan B is that if Cross River State cannot host the event, we will come back to Abuja and host the National Sports Festival.
"We are determined because without the National Sports Festival we cannot enrich the talents' profile of our athletes for national and international competitions.
"We have succeeded in hosting the National Youth Games against all odds and we will go back to our plan B if Cross River state relocates the burden of funding the games to the ministry."